One of my regrets when I went to see “Spamilton” at the Kirk Douglas Theater, is I wasn’t prepared for the karaoke booth. As always, the Center Group Theater aims to get its patrons involved and one of the ways is by having you sing karaoke to the “Hamilton” score. Other pre-show activities includes dressing up in props for photos.
The show itself is 90 minutes (no intermission) of fun with a cast taking on “Hamilton” as the title suggests but also making fun of other aspects of Broadway musicals and even Lin-Manuel with a few visits from faux celebrities as the desperate theater aficionados who want “Hamilton” tickets.
As an act, the show is a little rough around the edges compared to the current show at the Ahmanson (“Something Rotten”) but think of this more as a themed skit comedy show. There’s some dueling, a few takes on pop culture (“The Fresh Prince of Big Hair”) and Broadway culture (“Ben Franklin, Sonheim & Lin-Manuel”) as well as a lament that “Straight Is Back.”
There are some obvious jokes and some less obvious ones. “Campy musicals went out with glee” and “Kinky boots is going straight to hell.” The original King George III was played by Jonathan Groff (2015-2016) who played Melchior Gabor in the original Broadway cast of “Spring Awakening” in 2006, before he played Jesse St. James in the TV series “Glee” from 2010-2015.
I don’t know if camp is really dead on Broadway. I hope not. “Spamilton” premiered at the Triad Theatre, New York City, in July 2016. Created, written, and directed by Gerard Alessandrini, the program could be tightened up, but still it’s a fun experience and continues at the Kirk Douglas until 7 January 2018.